Garmin 8612XSV and B-175HW install/review with pics

Donkey Nick

Jul 16, 2012
Hollywood, CA, USA
Nick Shamrock
Shamrock 246 Walkaround
Never got around to posting this install from last year (2 1/2 year old boy and a 2 month old baby girl will do that to you), but finally have enough experience with the system to share...Upgraded my old Furuno (15 years old) on the Shamrock 246 last summer to a Garmin 8612XSV/Airmar B-175HW system.

Looked at all the brands in 12 in and went with the Garmin because of conversations with Gil Travis (great guy), aesthetics of the monitor, ease and simplicity of use and probably most important, the Fantom radar is awesome. Had it installed by Long Beach Electronics and they did an excellent job. The installer (older guy, forgot his name) actually has a workshop where he custom fabricates the starboard that filled a few gaps my old unit left. Moved a few gauges around and completely reworked my console. I came up with the plan and they really delivered. Decided to purchase through Gil and brought in my own electronics vs purchasing from them, so the only downside is the lack of technical support on the unit, which is understandable. Had them install an EPIRB, as well.


Here's the Shamrock. 2003 246 Walkaround


Long Beach Electronics is in the Marina Shipyard (Long Beach) and I had the boat bottom painted at the same time. The shipyard also installed the transducer and that's a separate transaction from the one with the electronics installer. Additionally, I needed some welding done to the T-top and there's even a welder at the yard who did the job. A true one stop shop...Very Pleased with the Marina shipyard. Quick turnaround, reasonable pricing, quality work and good people.

Here's the old setup:

old furuno.jpg

Here is the new set up:


I ended up on the B175-HW and although it takes a little bit to get it dialed in, I'm very pleased with it (pictures below). The majority of the fishing I do is inshore in less than 100ft and it works great. It does lose bottom at higher speeds and it is very sensitive, so get it as far away from any obstructions and from the engine to prevent noise. Looked at the Garmin side-scan transducers, but couldn't get one in a 1KW, so opted for the stronger transducer and focused on getting the best return...Gil Travis was a great resource here.

I went with the Fantom 24in radar and it is amazing. I'm sure that the 18 would have been fine and the technology on both is excellent. Took the boat to Catalina in pea soup, dense fog and literally almost never looked over the helm. Felt like I was flying a plane at night. Navigated with the split screen and trusted the system. Once we could see, we were 1/4 mile off of the island and metering up spots at Eagle reef. Like many people say, getting used to the radar in good weather is key. I use it on every trip to get more comfortable with it and it works.

I added the Lowrance HDS-5 a few years ago for navigation purposes. I would use the Furuno sounder and Lowrance GPS concurrently. The navigation on the Lowrance is very simple and reliable. It has a compass feature when steering and I continue to use it for navigation, since it sits right on the console and I can steer with it in line of sight. It's kind of like an old security blanket, so I kept it and still use it on every trip.


Here's a couple of pictures of the fathometer/sonar:

Garmin Catalina 5.29.21b.jpg
Looks like a school of bait stacked up and some predators attacking it. Probably Calico Bass or maybe yellowtail? Catalina Island

Garmin Catalina 5.29.21.jpg
Few more bait schools over a reef and looks like a few predators swimming through. Catalina Island

Offshore looking for bluefin. Didn't connect, but here's what a few look like?

bonito 2020 (2).jpg
School of Bonito. Catalina Island

Overall, I'm very pleased with the setup. As with anything new, have some patience and understand that there is a learning curve...would be my advice. I spent a few more dollars than I had planned, but I see this as a long-term investment and the backbone of the vessel. Definitely don't skimp on the Radar...It could be a lifesaver.

Hope this information helps. I apologize for the quality of the screen shots.

Tight lines and All The Best!

- Nick

Garmin Catalina 5.29.21b.jpg
Last edited:

SeaHawk IV

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 15, 2008
United States of America
I agree that Gill is a very knowledgeable dude with the electronics. He was very helpful with my many questions and delivery was fast too.

Did you add the Garmin Steady Cast Heading sensor? I've noticed it keeps the bow orientation pointed to where you're actually headed much faster than without this device. I think it's about 3 degrees of accuracy compared to 6 to 9 degrees accuracy without it. I found this helpful when returning to small structures during multiple drifts and also in rough water. Without it, the boat icon on the screen would not refresh fast enough and this was very frustrating in pea soup conditions when traveling slow.

There are a lot of complaints about this device not being reliable but my device seems to be spot on. For a $130 device, I found this to be a great addition for navigation. I think improper installation and calibration was the issue for those that complained about this device.
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